Monday, July 11, 2011

No Time For Seargents or Contests or Blue Mushrooms

I absolutely hate obligation.

Obligation turns normal, happy teenagers into huddled masses of self-loathing goo, to lazy and perfectionist to actually fulfill the said torturer, and yet unable to enjoy life and laziness because of the ever-present looming task. Never mind, I take all that back. I actually like blogging.

Heat, heat, heat. Gotta love this over-one-hundred degree heat we get here in the south! I tried playing "Sunshine on my Shoulders" by John Denver, but the meaning was kind of lost since it's actually party cloudy here, so it's more muggy and humid then sunny. I'm enjoying it thoroughly though, because yesterday night, a big ugly spider was seen under my bed and got away, and I wouldn't get back in the bed for two hours and even then I slept with horrible nightmares and cold-chills. So now, I like to believe that this spider who thinks he's all big and bad because he got away like that, is shriveling up and dying somewhere because his small hairy body can't take the 100 degree temperatures.

I believe in seeing the bright side of every situation, and that's about the only one there is.

And here I am without a Marx brothers post still (and please don't let that make you think I have something awesome planned, cause' I don't) I just thought I'd drop in and give you my opinion on the little feature I saw last night, a completely un-nostalgic war piece called "No Time For Sergeants".

This post was written at least six days ago, in that time, I've done absolutely nothing to help the world and humanity. And I still didn't finish any blog post. I believe in being honest as well as optimistic. I am a wonderful person.

Your movie today features Andy Griffith, young and curly headed, as a barefooted backwoods boy who gets drafted into the air force. Some guy named Nick Adams (who looks like a mix between Woody Allen and Don Knotts, and manages to be more annoying then the latter could ever dream of being) plays his friend Benjamin Whitledge, a nerd who also get drafted into the air force but wants to be in the infantry. As Wikipedia will tell you, in real life, the air force doesn't have an infantry. Just a cute little plot-loop I thought I'd bring up. But anyway, his obnoxious little friend wants to go, complaining that "In the Civil war, it was the infantry that did the fighting." A very interesting argument, especially since airplanes weren't invented yet. Aren't plot-loops fun? As you can probably tell, I didn't like that guy much. Anyway, goodhearted Will sets out to get them both transferred, which leads us to the second bad point about this (the first being his whiny sidekick); the plot starts halfway through the movie.

Also contributing is Myron McCormic, who I've never seen before, but God bless him. He looks like some kind of fish. He plays a Sergeant who's near-retirement is shattered by our dim-witted hero. I'd give you the rest of the plot but...that's it, basically. Some movies keep you guessing about the plot because they move to fast; this one does the opposite. It confuses you with the "Wait, we've been watching this for two hours? But nothing's happened! What in the world are they going to do in the rest of the movie?" I'll try summing it up this way, plot-point by plot-point;

1. Idiot get's drafted into the army.
2. Idiot meets nerd-friend.
3. Sun glass-wearing mean guy picks on idiot and nerd-friend (I suppose this plot would have worked equally well in a high-school setting?)
4. Very long, but admittedly funny bathroom joke that kills at least twenty minutes of film.
5. Other stuff happens.
6. More stuff.
7. the movie ends.

Sorry about that.

It could have been helpful or funny, but like I said I'm battling a sever case of the lazy. Let that be no reflection on the movie OR this blog.

Or numbered lists, which rock.

So on to analysis, the whole premise of this movie centers around the fact that Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) is suppose to be as dumb as it is hot outside, which is an illusion I find hard to fall into after watching him play the wise old sheriff of a country town for as long as I can remember. Then there are other flaws, like the hopelessly un-likable complainer of a sidekick who is supposedly the smart one of the bunch, and the fact that it portrays nearly every other member of the air force and draft board as mean and corrupt. There was a refreshing cameo by Don Knotts, even though it wouldn't have been a cameo since he had no real career until the Andy Griffith show. I can tell you without looking on Wiki that Andy Griffith had something to do with his small role in the movie. The two were palls, and there would never have been any kind of Barney Fife at all if, a few weeks before shooting started on the Andy Griffith show, Don Knotts hadn't called up his friend to practically beg for a part. (Mr. Bird says I should run next years course on "Early 20'th century pop culture, just sayin') It's a funny little piece but it doesn't last long, and can't really save the movie which spends way too much of it's time building up for jokes that, funny as they are, aren't really worth the wait.

So it's not on my favorite movie list, but if your either a big fan of Andy Griffith or Don Knotts (who's film debut this is) It is of course recommended.

So moving on, I thought while we were all waiting for me to get off my lazy posterior I'd treat you to a little contest. Remember I said nothing could be cuter then movie stars with kids? I thought of something cuter; movie stars as kids! I saw them do this on Disney channel once, except that you will have to deal with grainy old black and white photos, of which I only found a few, for the obvious reasons that movie star's kids would get a heck of a lot more press then kid's before they were movie stars. Your job is to try and guess who's who, and comment with your best idea.I can't promise a prize but I do have a darn cool blue mushroom I found in the woods if you win. Here are your photo's;

1. This one is impossible, and not because the actor isn't well known, try not to think of "small, sweet and vulnerable.."

2. I'll let the prop in the photo speak for itself... 3. This is a girl, if you can't tell. When I who it is you'll laugh that you ever asked that.

4. Hasn't changed much at all, especially hair.

5. Now that I think about it and compare photos, this one hasn't really changed much either. The girl in the background does not matter.

6. It is important to note that both boys are famous.

7. I'll let you figure it out yourself, but look carefully at the face.

And there you have it. I hope my insipid little comments helped a little. Write in with your best guess if you think you know it and by 5:00 tomorrow I will leave a comment with all the names.

P.S. It should also be helpful to note that most of the people on here were featured with their kids in the last post, but you probably figured that out.

P.P.S. It took so long to write this I have no PPS. Enjoy going without, be glad you don't feel obligated to write for yourself everyday.

Just kidding! Keep commenting, keep me obligated!


Christina said...

Ok, these are my guesses. These were hard!
1. Lou Costello
2. Jack Benny
3.Marilyn Monroe
4.Audrey Hepburn
5.Harpo Marx
6.Groucho and Chico Marx
7.Lucille Ball
So, where is my blue mushroom?

brtejones said...

I have no idea, are you going to tell us? This was really cute.

brtejones said...

I agree with all except #4 not being Audrey Hepburn but Patty Duke.

VWbugnut said...

Well, here is your "How well do I know the author" test. If you didn't know me, you would have expected the answers at exactly when I said they would be here.

If you knew me even a little your just in time, 50 minutes late.

And if you know me well you'll be surprised I got them THIS soon, but anyway here they are;

1. Humphrey Bogart (can you believe it?)As kid, Bogie was actually teased for his name and all the "Cute" pictures his mother Maude had him pose for.*That* is on Wikipedia.
2. Jack Benny, at the time, a violin player (and a good one) in a Waukegan Illinois vaudeville theater.
3. Marylin Monroe, then, Norma Jean Baker. Living with foster parents in Hawthorn CA. (her mother was mentally unsound)
4. Audrey Hepburn, who was born to an English family but spent most of her childhood in the Netherlands.
5. Chico Marx, all three brothers were from an immigrant neighborhood called Carnegie hill in New York city.
6. Groucho (on the left) and Harpo Marx. Chico was the oldest brother, then Harpo and Groucho, who was the only one to finish school. At the time this picture was taken, Groucho was 8 and Harpo 14, already working as a bootblack.
7. Lucille Ball, who although she told everyone she was from Butte Montana, was actually from Jamestown New York. Don't ask me why. Mother wins...being the only entry and guilt people... and I hope these interesting little facts helped make the contest worth your while!